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ACIM : Who am I to be a shining light?

What stops us from achieving courageous goals? This was the theme of Ian’s blog post last week in which he featured the Marianne Williamson quote from the book ‘A Return to Love’. That quote famously reminds us that ‘as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same’. I felt Ian shone very brightly in his post and that inspired me to pick up the baton and take the story on.

What many people do not know is that the book ‘A Return to Love’ is Marianne Williamson’s brilliant interpretation of another book called ‘A Course in Miracles’ (ACIM). ACIM is a channeled spiritual text that is both a book and a course. In the nineties I spent five years reading this book and following the course which consists of a series of 365 affirmations that you focus on repeatedly each day though, because they were so intense, I would focus upon some of them for many days at a time.

The purpose of ACIM is quite simply to rewire our thinking from a fear-based belief system to a love-based belief system. In a love-based belief system miracles happen and courageous goals are achieved since the fears that prevent them from happening are challenged and overcome. Across its 1,243 pages ACIM charts all the fears that get in the way of achieving miracles and, one by one, shines a very intense light upon them.

Whilst I was in the midst of reading this book, I was sat in a plane waiting for it to take off from Heathrow Airport. I was mulling on the ACIM lesson for the day when I looked out of the airplane window and caught sight of a flock of birds that was blocking the runway. These birds looked very settled, claiming their space and defiantly pecking away at the ground. All of a sudden the pilot of the plane opened up the plane’s engines and the resultant roar startled the birds causing them to lift off en masse and disappear into the distance.

Birds on the runway


As the plane climbed into the sky I wrote these words:-

Birds on the Runway

A thin veil, a cloudy sky,
The flutter of settling wings,
Birds that stall our progress,
Like mice and lice and other little things,
Strange mix of phobia and respect,
Welds us to a past we loathe,
And yet they wait for us,
Those smiling faces on the other side,
Forever waiting, forever smiling,
Forever hoping and keeping faith,
Sketching the good times to come,
How could we let them down?
How could we mothball our dusty engines?
We scatterers of the birds,
We clearers of the mist,
When will we change our minds,
And honour our forgotten selves?
When will we stop using our past learning,
As the light to guide us now ?

The last two lines of this poem are taken directly from an ACIM passage. As you read this poem and contemplate your own perspective on miracles and courageous goals I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:-

  • What are the little things that get in the way of you fulfilling your potential?
  • Who are you letting down when you stay welded to a past you loathe?
  • Who is smiling and waiting to greet you on the other side of your courageous goal?
  • How can you open your engines and scatter the birds on your runway?
  • When will you stop using your past learning as the light to guide you now?

It goes without saying that I would never have co-written ‘Challenging Coaching’ if I had not read and followed ‘A Course in Miracles’. After all, who am I to write a book? Who am I to write a poem? Who am I to achieve a courageous goal? Who am I to be a shining light?

If you enjoyed reading this blog please check out my new book ‘Coaching Poetry from a Spiritual Path’ which is now available on Amazon.

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